2.3.2 Modalities of engagement with national stakeholders

Biodiversity finance relates to a large universe of stakeholders, ranging from development banks, central banks, enterprises and ministries at the national level, to community and indigenous organizations operating in key biodiversity areas. Engaging these actors helps to: 1) build a shared understanding and vision among all these key stakeholders; 2) understand capacity gaps and respond accordingly; and 3) coordinate all related initiatives and lead technical debates. The BIOFIN Process builds on three primary engagement axes (Figure 2.6). The first axis connects environmental, finance ministries and other relevant public entities to improve institutional cooperation. The second engages the private sector to identify opportunities for investments with positive conservation benefits and the introduction of sustainable practices. The third axis is about empowering civil society and community organizations. International organizations, including conservation NGOs, development banks, the UN and others, are considered critical supporters. The following section discusses how to engage the stakeholders in the process. The Policy and Institutional Review in Chapter 3 provides more detailed guidance on scanning a country’s biodiversity institutional landscape.

Figure 2.6: The BIOFIN Partnerships Strategy at National Level

Navigating the political economy – lessons from OECD

BIOFIN teams need to be very conscious of issues pertaining to the political economy of each finance solution, especially when dealing with areas related to vested interests, such as reforming harmful subsidies or introducing new taxes. OECD analysis highlights the importance of exploiting time-bound windows of opportunity, for example in relation to popular news, a national crisis or when a new government takes office. Other strategies to engage with a country’s political economy include:

  • Forge alliances between finance and biodiversity groups;
  • Base campaigns on robust data and evidence;
  • Develop a strategy to address vested interests; and
  • Build broad and durable support.

Source: The Political Economy of Biodiversity Policy Reform (OECD, 2017).